Netanyahu thanks Merkel for stand against anti-Semitism

Prime Minister Netanyahu says it is important to step up efforts against the phenomenon of anti-Semitism and the chancellor agrees.

Hezki Baruch ,

Angela Merkel, Binyamin Netanyahu
Angela Merkel, Binyamin Netanyahu
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the shooting attack in the synagogue in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur.

Netanyahu told Merkel that he appreciated her firm stance against anti-Semitism, adding that it was important to step up efforts in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Merkel stated in her talk that she intends to intensify efforts to secure the Jewish community in Germany.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said the shooting attack was a far-right terrorist attack.

She said the terrorist, Stephen Balliet, carried four kilograms of explosives in his car and that he planned a "massacre" during Yom Kippur.

Balliet, 27 is charged with two counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder. The terrorist, who expressed anti-Semitic attitudes while documenting the attack live, was arrested shortly after the shooting. He was able to kill two people: a woman near a synagogue, and a man at a Turkish kebab stall about half a mile from the synagogue.

President Reuven Rivlin spoke to his counterpart President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, and asked him to take uncompromising action against anti-Semitism and strongly condemned yesterday’s attack on the synagogue in Halle, in eastern Germany.

During their conversation, the president said “We appreciate the efforts taken by the German authorities to protect and to secure German Jews, and still there is more to be done, and the fight has to be without hesitation or compromise. I appreciate your willingness and the willingness of the Chancellor to express your personal support for the Jewish community and your visit to the synagogue earlier today.”

President Rivlin added, “We are partners in the fight against anti-Semitism and neo-Facism. We must learn from this incident to make sure that nothing similar ever happens again. Facism, neo-Facism and anti-Semitism are a source of concern for the whole world,” he stressed.

President Steinmeier responded: “Mr President, I feel your pain, concern and fear and I share it. I said in my statement today that it is not enough to deplore and denounce. The German state has to live up to its responsibility to protect Jewish life. The vast majority of Germans who want that must be more active and more vocal. Tonight, I will speak in honor of the head of the German Jewish community, Charlotte Knoblauch, and I will take the opportunity to repeat these messages again.”